11/08/2012 12:04 EST | Updated 01/07/2013 05:12 EST

Harper set to announce expansion of Cdn diplomatic presence in India

BANGALORE, India - Prime Minister Stephen Harper is set to announce an expansion of Canada's already substantial diplomatic presence in India.

A trade commissioner's office in this thrumming high-tech and services metropolis is expected to become yet another Canadian consulate.

The move is part of Harper's aggressive push to increase trade and investment with India, particularly in the areas of energy, education and agriculture.

Bangalore -- once associated with its ubiquitous international customer service call centres -- is a potent symbol of India's booming middle class and educated, skilled labour pool.

Canada would like to boost the number of Indian students at Canadian universities, which puts millions into the economy each year.

But it would also to see more Canadian companies and public institutions gain access to India's rapidly expanding education sector.